Please tell us about your collection.
I always have been interested in structure and textile as an important and distinct part of design. So, I looked into crafts, art of fabrics, textile sculptures, particularly, at Anton Pevsner, Jurgen Mayer and American fiber artist Claire Zeisler’s works. I like the idea of transforming the flat two-dimensional into three-dimensional shape and silhouette. I’ve had used a fine viscose fringing, which I stringed and weaved around a body construction to transform the natural body shape into something ideal, but, at the same time weird, wrong and odd silhouette. I based it on sportswear inspired dresses made from a sport-elastic jersey, also, sport inspired neck lines, sleeves and tank tops. I wanted to give the collection a more sculptural, static sense. At the same time, when all the strings move, the dress becomes almost alive. I like the sense of intricacy, when you look at something and don’t understand how or from what it is made.
The look is romantic, elegant, refined, very controlled and feminine with touch of sportswear and mixture of Gothic and dark romance sense. And I’m sure there is some Russian art influence because of my background.
I didn’t aim to make it commercial. I simply wanted to express my ideas, to show the unique, intricate technique and make it conceptual, couture, signature pieces. Finally, -beautiful- is mainly what I was keeping in mind all the time. There is a lot of handwork, almost all pieces are hand stitched and it took enormous amount of hours to produce. However, I know how to transform these conceptual ideas and design in a commercial way.
How did you end up at CSM’s MA course?
I just tried doing what I really can and like to do. It has helped me to end the course successfully.
Did you always wanted to do fashion design?
Honestly, I always liked dressing up. I remember how I was putting my mum’s clothes and spending lots of time looking at myself in a mirror for hours. I also drew designs and models from a very early age, and there was this game where you had to dress up a paper doll by drawing clothes for her. I started making clothes for myself since I was 10. But, I would say that it was a result of financial difficulties as we didn’t have opportunity to buy beautiful clothing. Then, I went to an art school to study life drawing, painting and fabric print/ batik design. After art school I was seriously considering between being an artist or architect, and somehow, I ended up at the Moscow Textile University on a fashion pathway.
Tell us about your time on MA. What was the most fun and what was the most difficult?
It was tough. You are under constant pressure and the need to meet deadlines. I’d say that most of the people on the course hated and felt competitive towards each other. You don’t really have a chance to work together as a team. It’s all about independent work and ability to survive, however, it prepares you for a better future in real life in the industry.
In your opinion, what skills you need to be fit for MA: technical,pattern cutting, organizational, thick skin or easy attitude?
All mentioned above and much more! In my opinion, the biggest misconception about MA is that it is a logical continuation of BA course, but its not. There is a big gap between the MA level and BA. I’d say that MA should be for people who already have had some experience in the industry and would like to improve their skills and professionalism. You really need to understand what the course is about and what they want from you.
What is the most valuable lesson you learnt from Louise Wilson?
Always try your best in whatever you do, and if you do great, you will get a reward. Look at things differently.
Did you do any internship or work in the industry before? If you have, tell us more about your experiences?
I didn’t do any internships. I started working in the high street fashion brand in Moscow as a womenswear designer straight after I had graduated from my BA. It was a very good experience, I learnt a lot and understood how such big companies operate.
Would you like to start up your own label or would you prefer towork for another company?
It’s very hard question! Surely, I’d like to continue working in the fashion field. I have several thoughts to set up my own line or consider any interesting offers if possible.
What’s for the future?
Do not stop.